Legislative meeting underway in Jaipur; doors open for Pilot, says Congress

The Congress said 109 MLAs have already expressed support for Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, rejecting the claim by Deputy Chief Minister Schin Pilot
The Congress on Monday said its doors remain open for Sachin Pilot, the rebel leader who claimed that he has the support of over 30 party MLAs in the state's 200-member assembly.

Doors are open for Sachin Pilot and other MLAs, senior leader Randeep Surjewala told reporters here ahead of a crucial meeting of party MLAs.

The Congress Legislature Party meeting began about three hours later than scheduled, with ministers and MLAs flashed victory signs for the cameras.

The Congress said 109 MLAs have already expressed support for Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, rejecting the claim by Deputy Chief Minister and the party's state unit president Sachin Pilot that the senior leader not have the majority.

Striking a conciliatory note at a press conference ahead of the meeting, Surjewala said MLAs who have not yet turned up in Jaipur can call Avinash Pande, the AICC general secretary in-charge of Rajasthan.

Surjewala said the party's top leadership spoke to Pilot several times in the last 72 hours.

He said differences in a family can be resolved within the family, suggesting that Pilot and other MLAs should come and discuss grievances at party forums.

He said solutions can be found every problem.

The Congress had rushed Pande, Surjewala and Ajay Maken to Jaipur as observers at the meeting, amid a power tussle between its two Rajasthan leaders.

The party had issued a whip ahead of the meeting, indicating disciplinary action against any MLA who failed to turn up.

In a statement, Pilot, however, had made clear that he would not attend. He also claimed that he had the support of over 30 Congress MLAs and some independents.


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